Eagles WR Brown misses another practice, doubtful for Rams

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles could play the season opener without their two top wide receivers after Reggie Brown missed his second straight practice Friday.

Brown has been sidelined since straining his left hamstring in the second preseason game against Carolina. He took part in individual drills on Wednesday, but sat out the next two practices and is doubtful for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams.

"He went out and practiced and it didn't feel right," coach Andy Reid said. "He stretched for a ball and it felt tight on him, so we backed him off."

Kevin Curtis is already out indefinitely after having surgery for a sports hernia. Curtis had 77 catches for a team-high 1,110 yards and six touchdowns last season. Brown had 61 receptions for 780 yards and four TDs.

Reid said the Eagles would employ a receiver-by-committee approach. Rookie DeSean Jackson, Greg Lewis, Hank Baskett and Jason Avant will rotate at the two spots.

"I'm not worried about it," Reid said. "The other guys are good players. That's why they're here."

The speedy-but-diminutive Jackson had an impressive preseason. He worked out with Jerry Rice before the NFL draft and walks around with a swagger that teammates have noticed.

"I like seeing that confidence," All-Pro running back Brian Westbrook said. "He's confident in his ability and he has proven what he can do in the preseason. Now, we need to see that in the regular season. The regular season is a whole different level than the preseason. He knows what we expect from him and now he has to go out and perform."

Jackson, generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, looks more like a ball boy instead of someone who might end up being Donovan McNabb's favorite target.

Despite his size, Jackson had a standout career at California. He caught 162 passes for 2,423 yards and 22 TDs in 36 games, and returned six punts for scores. The Eagles chose Jackson with their second pick in the second round at No. 49 overall.

"I'm just taking things day by day," Jackson said. "I'm just trying to do the best I can do. I'm here to help this team. There are a lot of great players here. I'm just trying to fit in."

Lewis, Baskett and Avant combined for 51 catches and six TDs last year, so McNabb probably will throw more to Westbrook and tight end L.J. Smith. Westbrook led the team with 90 receptions in 2007. Smith is healthy and eager to rebound following an injury-plagued year.

"I think the one thing that we can do to help DeSean is every other guy has to step their game up and be able to make as many plays as possible so we won't count on him so much," McNabb said.